DIABETES is surging in Andalucia at an alarming rate, health experts have warned.
Dr Diego Fernandez raised the alarm this week during an appearance on 7TV Malaga.
He is the head of the Endocrinology and Nutrition department at Xanit Hospital in Benalmadena.
He told the programme: “We are facing a high incidence of diabetes in the region, a phenomenon that we cannot ignore.
“Although Andalucia has been recognised for its development and quality of life, the prevalence of diabetes has experienced a constant increase in recent years.”
He added: “Genetic factors and unhealthy lifestyles are contributing to this increase. It is crucial to understand that diabetes is a complex disease that requires a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, early diagnosis and effective management.”
But how does one avoid developing the condition?
Dr Fernandez explained: “You have to maintain a Mediterranean diet, that for me is one of the main keys.
“Also, awareness about the importance of regular physical activity is essential to reverse this trend.”
A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, healthy oils and fish.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advises people to ‘reach and keep a health body weight’.
It adds that they should ‘stay physically active with at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day… eat a healthy diet and avoid sugar and saturated fat… and do not smoke tobacco.’
There are two types of diabetes, Type 1, which is widely believed to be genetic, and Type 2, which can be prevented.
According to the World Health Organisation, Type 1 is characterised by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin.
Type 2 diabetes ‘affects how your body uses sugar (glucose) for energy. It stops the body from using insulin properly, which can lead to high levels of blood sugar if not treated.’
Over time, it can lead to serious damage to the body, particularly against nerves and blood vessels.
You are more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, do not exercise enough and if it runs in the family.
It is important that you are regularly tested for the disease, as early diagnosis helps you to avoid its worst effects.